The Loop is like a box of chocolates

After two years or so of running “for no particular reason,” Forrest Gump was accosted by reporters as he crossed what purported to be a Mississippi River bridge.  Here’s the bridge.

It’s right close to our marina, so actually spans the Beaufort River.  We know this because we passed under it yesterday on our way out and we were on the Beaufort River.  The bridge looks just the same as in the movie, minus the fake Mississippi sign.

But wait!  There’s more!  Here’s Tidalholm.  The Great Santini lived here.  Then a few years later—after Alex committed suicide—Glenn Close, William Hurt, and the rest of their college friends chilled out big here, giving us Jeff Goldblum’s classic line—which Doug uses on just about every camping trip—about nature being one giant urinal.

Also in Beaufort?  The source of almost all plastic kazoos found in the world: the Kazoobie Kazoo Factory.

We couldn’t make the tour times work, but did stop in.

In the hands of a real kazoo player, they’re not even all that silly.

Perhaps in a clever nod to whatever governmental forces shut down its competitors, the kazoo factory is located on the corner of Industrial Village Road and John Galt Road.

Which begs the obvious question, “Who is John Galt?”

Before leaving Beaufort we had a last meal with The Lower Place and Lesson Plan.  We also confirmed once-and-for-all that we weren’t docked around the corner from the real Santa Maria.  No electric lights back in the day.

Yesterday morning we helped a couple of boats depart in tricky circumstances before we slid out easily, thanks to the early exit by the sailboat in front of us.

We took a detour on the Coosaw River so that Dana could get a photo of the dock area where Lieutenant Dan honored his promise to become First Mate if Forrest ever got a shrimp boat, which just about then crashed into a dock that isn’t still there.  But this is the spot, and Dana was very happy to have gone out of the way to humor Doug’s appetite for movie sites, or maybe she wasn’t.

We knew the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff was shallow but didn’t have much choice in timing.  Low tide at the entrance—green 185—was at 10:26.  We actually arrived at 10:26.  Someone had told us to stay off Marker 185.  We did.  And found mud.  Somehow we backed out to wait for more water.  About then The Lower Place and Dixie Belle steamed up.  Charlie gave it a go, found four feet, and turned around.  Lee stood down.  Miss Patsy arrived to the party while we all were just treading water.  She also went in, found four feet, and turned around.  After (1) waiting an hour and (2) a tow boat with a six-foot draft plowed through the muck coming towards us, Miss Patsy led us through.

Seagulls apparently like those day-glo cheese-balls that come in what Robin described as a 55-gallon drum.  Charlie surprisingly had enough left to share, which explained things to those of us wondering why the birds were so interested.  Maybe that’s why they call him the Birdman of Starkville.

Shortly thereafter we passed The Lower Place on our mission to get to Charleston.  We’re afraid we may not see Charlie and Robin again for a long while, which is quite sad.   For two reasons.  First, we really like them.  Second, we’re horrified at the thought of this being the last image we have by which to remember them.

Hopefully the bride and groom didn’t have to witness that.

We made it through the four shallow cutoffs but had one more stretch that Navionics showed as a red danger zone.  Very narrow channel, but we hit it well past mid-tide.  Should be fine as long as we stay in the middle of the channel.  Wait a second.  What the hell is this?  An apartment building and he’s coming straight at us!  Doug hailed the American Star captain on 16. “I need the whole channel,” he cheerfully offered, “but I’ll do what I can.”  Gulp.

We passed close enough that we could’ve seen what the tourists were watching on tv if we hadn’t been glued to the wheel and the depth gauge.  We’re not fans of what NASCAR drivers call “trading paint,” so we’re glad we didn’t.

We don’t usually travel on the weekend, so we don’t usually see the locals doing their local things.  So we took a picture.

Anyway, a long day of traveling got us to St. John’s Yacht Harbor.

From there, an Uber got us to a really satisfying Italian joint and the neighboring brewery.  The girls just stopped by for the night on their way to Eckerd.  Tomorrow we’ll see Doug’s old friends Greg and Mary Jane.  Very happy times.

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